How can saving challenges help you grow your money, or see financial results from your saving efforts? In this article, we explore the top money saving challenges that have proven to work. You could also explore group savings or saving circle, which helps people save more because they are accountable to a group and are therefore motivated and incentivized to reach their saving goals.
Something happened on May 6, 1954. A story most athletes would recognize because they’ve been told on training grounds. It speaks of a man, a track event, and the record He broke that got him into the Guinness books. You’ll see how this happened from start to finish later in the article.
But how does a story about an athlete relate to your finances? For most people, hitting a saving goal is like the proverbial hiking Everest without putting on shoes. Or breaking the fastest 100meter record without ever having trained as an athlete. Yes, it’s that difficult an exercise.
For example, look at this: many people started working at a young age, but have barely any financial stronghold to show for it. There’s the small bank account, a stack of debts that just wouldn’t help a good night’s sleep, it’s hard to make ends meet, and there’s the constant living from paycheck to paycheck.
According to His article on themakingofamillionaire.com, Ryan Fulton said He started working at the age of 16, and earned an average of $15,000 per year but didn’t start saving until six years later when He was already halfway through college.
$15,000 times six years would net a fat sum of $90,000. But Ryan had nothing tangible to show for all his earnings over the years. No assets, no savings account.
You see, most people are like Ryan. Maybe you are too, earning without saving. And when you look back, you’ve probably tried a lot to change the non-saving cycle and to do your best to save for the rainy days, but most of your efforts seem to go down the drain.
You save a little for a couple of days or weeks, then end up emptying your savings account before Jack knows His surname is Robinson. This article was written to help you overcome this cycle by showing you another method of saving.
Money-saving challenges are one of the best motivations to help you save especially if you find it hard to save money. The website confused.com describes them as one of the most creative ways to save money.
You can use your accumulated savings to make your dream vacation a reality, build an emergency fund, put a down payment for your choice home, or do whatsoever catches your fancy.
The idea of a money-saving challenge is quite simple. You creatively save a part of your earnings by setting some constraints around how you save, and when you save, or even the amount you save.
Some people say it’s a great way to gamify your saving journey and we agree.
Here are some of the best and most common saving challenges available. You can start trying any one of them from today without reinventing the wheel.
Just like the name sounds, the bi-weekly saving challenge means you save a certain amount of money once every two weeks. It is also called the 26-week money-saving plan. This challenge gives you room to breathe. You get to save a certain amount of money only once every two weeks.
If you earn twice in a month or engage in a trade that pays biweekly this challenge is one you should try. If you start this saving challenge with only $4 and increase the amount by $4 every other week, you should have an accumulation of $1404 at the end of the year.
No, you don’t need to buy 100 envelopes to make this effective (although, it would help if you do).
How it works is that you write $1 through to $100 on a set of 100 envelopes (or cards, whichever is accessible). For every day of the 100 days, you pick out a random envelope and save the exact amount written on it. At the end of the period, you should have at least $5000 in savings.
Every year, most money-conscious people make resolutions to spend less and save more. The bad news is, more than 80% of these people do not keep to these resolutions.
The 52-week money challenge serves as a reminder to save. It starts very simply since you save $1 on the very first week and increase this amount by $1 on the following weeks. So, you save $2 in the second week, $3 in the third, $12 in week twelve, and on and on.
The ingenuity of this method is that it helps you build a strong saving habit that starts easy! As you may have guessed, it is one of the most recommended saving recommendations if you find it hard to save money.
If you are a monthly income earner, the monthly money-saving challenge makes it easier to save monthly. All you need to do is keep/deposit a certain amount of money (10%? 20%? ) into your savings account, and let it grow.
You could start with say $25 in January, and increase the amount by $25 on the following till the end of the year. That is, you save $25 in January, $50 in February, $75 in March, $100 in April, and so on.
The nickel-a-day challenge is a fun challenge to try. Here’s how savingadvice.com describes it:
The premise of the 365 Day Money Challenge is simple. If you are using nickels, on day one you deposit $0.05 into your savings account. Then, you add $0.05 to your deposit on day two, making that deposit worth $0.10, bringing your total savings to $0.15.
On each subsequent day, you add a nickel to the previous day’s deposit. That means, on day 10, you deposit $0.50. On day 100, your deposit is $5.00. On the last day, number 365, your deposit is $18.40.
While the daily amounts seem small, they add up fast. At the end of the year, if you participate every single day, you’ll have a whopping $3,339.75 in your savings.
Just like the 52-week money-saving challenge, this also helps you build your saving muscles daily. Although the amount you begin with is quite small, it adds up with time. At the end of the year, you’ve saved more than $3000 although you began with merely a nickel!
There’s only one rule in this challenge — don’t buy anything unnecessary for your survival within 30 days. If it is not food or health products like medicine, then it doesn’t deserve your money.
This challenge aims to build discipline, to give you control over your finances (especially spending). Eat what is available, and only purchase foods when you need them. Sounds hard?
Remember Elon Musk — one of the richest men in the world today, second only to Jeff Bezos once lived on $1 a day to prepare himself for the entrepreneurial journey ahead.
Simply declutter, and be a minimalist for 30 days, and watch as you have money for the keeps.
This is one of the most flexible saving challenges you could try. Whenever you get $1 as change, save it.
You buy a car, and there’s $1 left from the purchase save it. You buy a pair of shoes and have $1 left as a change, save it.
There are other variations to this like the $5 savings challenge as well. The goal is like the rest, to help you save more, and remove the boundaries associated with it. Think of it like democratic saving. There are rules, but you have a lot of freedom.
Those are certainly great saving challenges you could try, but in all honesty, a technique doesn’t make a person a better swordsman. A good swordsmanship foundation does.
You must have noticed how it’s difficult to save even after you decided to. It’s not just a bad habit, sometimes this continuous cycle is caused by beliefs about yourself and money.
How do you get past them and break the shackles?
While saving challenges sound all good, and fun too, the best way to achieve your savings goal is to first break limiting beliefs surrounding saving. That’s because limiting beliefs make up the foundation for your actions and direct your life (how that works is beyond the scope of this article). Without those beliefs broken, you will continually have trouble saving even when you know it’s important. You will continuously seek out new saving methods, and ignore what you already know to work.
Here are five limiting beliefs you need to break to get into your saving A-game and make the above challenges yield good results for you.
This is a common one. And it may be a belief that limits you too. You tell yourself every day that you make so little, that your earnings are not sufficient to help you pull through even basic expenses. Gradually, this builds into a belief system and directs your actions. Making it impossible for you to save, and EASIER for you to spend what you earn.
But here’s the first step to changing this cycle. Recall how you lived when you earned less, or even when you had little to nothing. Did you not find a way to get past it all?
Your mind will continuously fight against the idea that you could save the more you tell yourself you earn less. So, tell yourself, you’ve lived well on far less before, and leaving a little change behind for a better tomorrow isn’t a bad idea.
The only way to break this is to tell yourself that although you’ve not been the best with money previously, there’s always room for growth. So, henceforth, you will keep a certain percentage of your earnings for future emergencies, and even a new house, or car, or whatever your soul desires.
One thing saving does is this: if you can save a large chunk of your earnings, with time you’ll find out you are richer than most people you know.
For some people, the “rich people are greedy” is conditioning that came as a result of their backgrounds or negative experiences. Other variations of this belief are that rich people are bad/wicked/evil.
Since you are reading this, then it means you want to save, and you are finding it difficult to do so because of those experiences. You may no longer believe the above statements, but because they are stored somewhere in your subconscious mind, you have a hard time accumulating money — destroying every hope you have for preparing financially for the future.
Recognize this as a limiting belief to your financial growth. It is the enemy, and tell yourself there are good rich people, and you can become one too. Then start by saving gradually.
This limiting belief can come from a combination of different events. For example, do you have an older relative or guardian who you respect but have a hard time saving money? Or have you found yourself spending more than you earn countless times in the past, even when you don’t want to?
The brain (and mind) learns from your actions, and gradually forms habits (which you can break). When you find yourself in a circumstance where saving or investing is difficult, understand that your mind is fighting against a new positive action with an old habit you grew. The only way to get past this is to willfully ignore those mental suggestions and save too. Your mind will learn again that you are a saver and not a poor money manager.
Lastly, you have to learn that things will take care of themselves as much as you want them to. Only the animals get free food, even at that, they still need to hunt for it.
Living for the moment financially only prepares you to pay dearly for a messy future. Realign this mental state by making plans for a better financial future. And if you believe “the moment” is all that you should care about, remember there will be many moments tomorrow, and only your plans now will make them blissful.
Now, you need to understand this: even after you realize how these beliefs work, saving may not come easy still, that’s why saving circles exist. Saving challenges are also another method for starting a personal saving tradition that has proven to work.
To conclude this article, here’s the story promised in one of the foremost paragraphs — it’s the four-minute mile story.
Before May 6, 1954, experts said the human body couldn’t run a mile under 4 minutes. Other stories said that people have tried this for thousands of years, but were unable to break this 4-minute barrier.
In the 1940s, someone broke a new record for running a mile in 4:01minutes. it didn’t change for nine years making the stories about this barrier make even more sense, after all, even the experts say so.
May 6, 1954, someone broke it. Roger Bannister. He ran a mile in under 4 minutes, reaching the end of the track at 3:59.4 minutes. Do you know what happened a year after? Another person broke the record. And today, even high schoolers run 4-minute miles.
Sometimes your objections to saving are as good as the limiting beliefs holding you back. They are like the opinions of experts to runners before May 6, 1954. The only way to get past them is to save, and with time it gets easier. You’ll find yourself breaking saving records you never thought you could.
The challenges listed above are meant to help you save better, and make the entire process easier.
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